News : Human rights

Iranian Political Prisoners' Plea for Help

by-Jazeh Miller

A group of political prisoners have written a letter in order to gain the attention of human rights organisations with regards to the appalling conditions prisoners have to deal with. The prisoners from Ardebil prison urged the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to take immediate action to remedy the situation of political prisoners in Gohardasht prison near the country’s capital. The prisoners in Gohardasht prison are currently participating in a hunger strike.

The letter stated that the lives of the prisoners are in great danger. They also vowed to start a hunger strike in solidarity if no action is taken.

In the letter to Ms. Asma Jahangir, the U.N. special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, and Mr. Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, the prisoners wrote: “We, exiled political prisoners in Ardebil prison, learned that the political prisoners in Gohardasht prison have been abruptly transferred to solitary confinement and hall 10 of the prison more than two weeks ago. Hall 10 has more than 40 cameras and surveillance devices with max-security atmosphere and the prisoners are constantly under the sight and surveillance of the cameras. In protest to this sudden and suspicious transfer, a group of our brothers in solitary confinement and Hall 10 staged an indefinite hunger strike more than two weeks ago and are deprived of family visits and contacts.”

They pledged their support to the Gohardasht prison political prisoners and said that the hunger strike is their way to defend themselves against the enemy – those who have held them captive. They said it is through a hunger strike that they find a “defensive shield” against the appalling attacks they have to endure and highlighted that mercy is not given to anyone – not men, not women, not the young and not the old.

They questioned: “Have you ever wondered what causes a person to go on hunger strike and not touch any food for a long time?” They explained that it is easier to “tolerate a gradual death” than it is to “endure the cruelty and criminality of the rulers”.

The prisoners added: “Because we are political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Iran, we are ready to die with dignity, but we do not give in to humiliation and abjection.”

It is hoped that with the heart-wrenching words of this letter that the United Nations, and the international community as a whole, will act to protect the lives of these people that have been left to suffer at the hands of the criminal, cruel and torturous regime that rules the Islamic Republic of Iran.

 

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